One of the activists, Laura Semple from Oxford, said "DSEi is one of the leading arms fairs in the world, where more than 600 arms companies will be queuing up to strike deals with oppressive regimes and to fuel conflicts all over the globe. We intend to shut it down."
See: Report 1, Update 1, Update 2, Photos, Videos.
East London activist, Jason Hetfield, said “The arms business in the UK harms local communities. The borough of Newham where I live, and where DSEi is taking place, is one of the poorest in the country. The people of Newham do not want this fair for weapons of death to come into their community. They want better education, health and job creation.”
The action is just one of many being organised over the next couple of weeks by a range of different groups intent on shutting DSEi down and ending this abhorrent trade in death.
1)At the last DSEI arms fair in 2001 there were 664 exhibitors and delegates were invited from 68 different countries to buy guns, bombs, military planes, small arms, mines and tanks. It took place over 11th September 2001 – the day of the attacks on New York and Washington in America. While many events around the world were cancelled out of respect for the dead, the arms fair was not halted. For three more days, countries including America, Israel and 14 different Arab nations continued to shop, side-by-side, for weapons to attack each other with.
2)British companies continue to sell arms to regimes with atrocious human rights records such as Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Colombia and the US. The cost of military budgets to many countries attending DSEi has vast implications for the on-going development of education, health and social amenities e.g. The recent £3bn arms deal to South Africa.
3)For more information regarding the other actions planned for this week and some of the participating groups
see www.dsei.org .
For more information on the arms trade see www.caat.org.uk